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Written Question
Schools: Carbon Emissions
15 Feb 2021

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what incentives are in place for schools in England (1) to measure, and (2) to reduce, carbon emissions.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Reduction in energy use in new and existing buildings to meet the net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target is a priority for the UK government.

The department published the Good Estate Management for Schools guidance in April 2018. The guidance includes a section on ‘Energy and water management’, and tips on reducing energy and water use in schools, including measuring energy and water consumption. It also signposts schools to other organisations that provide training, information, and support in relation to sustainability and energy efficiency in schools.

In 2020, the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy setup the £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which provided grants for public sector bodies including schools to fund energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation measures. This scheme has now ended, however, schools can apply for funding through Salix for projects to reduce carbon emissions as well as accessing funding through the department’s own Condition Improvement Fund for improvements to buildings and services within schools which contribute to reducing emissions.


Written Question
Climate Change and Nature Conservation: Education
15 Feb 2021

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) the causes of climate change, and (2) actions that can benefit and decrease any negative impact on the natural environment, are taught in schools in England.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, related topics are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science, pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things. In primary geography, pupils will be taught about seasonal and daily weather patterns, climate zones and human geography, including land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. In secondary geography, pupils will look at how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate. As part of GCSE geography, pupils will look at the causes, consequences of, and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, the department also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable pupils to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

School and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.


Written Question
Financial Services: Primary Education
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to integrate financial education and money management skills more widely into the national primary curriculum.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. The government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on essential arithmetic. This is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place. Details of the catch up package can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. This is available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.


Written Question
Financial Services: Primary Education
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the ideal age range to begin financial education in schools; and what plans they have to support the delivery of financial education to primary children.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. The government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on essential arithmetic. This is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place. Details of the catch up package can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. This is available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.


Written Question
Financial Services: Primary Education
10 Nov 2020

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the importance of financial education at primary level in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on household finances; and what plans they have to provide additional support to schools to offer high-quality financial education.

Answered by Baroness Berridge

Education on financial matters helps to ensure that young people are prepared to manage their money well, make sound financial decisions and know where to seek further information when needed. In 2014, for the first time, financial literacy was made statutory within the national curriculum as part of the citizenship curriculum for 11 to 16 year olds.

We also introduced a rigorous mathematics curriculum, which provides young people with the knowledge and mathematical skills to make important financial decisions. The government has published statutory programmes of study for mathematics and citizenship that outline what pupils should learn about financial education from key stages one to four.

In the primary mathematics curriculum, there is a strong emphasis on essential arithmetic. This is vital, as a strong understanding of numeracy and numbers will underpin pupils’ ability to manage budgets and money, including, for example, percentages. There is also some specific content about financial education such as calculations with money.

We trust schools to use their professional judgement and understanding of their pupils to develop the right teaching approach for their particular school, drawing on the expertise of subject associations and organisations such as Young Money.

Schools should have resumed teaching an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. This means that all pupils will be taught a wide range of subjects so they can maintain their choices for further study and employment. Our latest guidance on teaching to support children is set out here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Our £1 billion COVID-19 “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year will support schools to put the right catch-up support in place. Details of the catch up package can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding. This is available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#closeSignup.

For the longer term, the department will continue to work closely with The Money and Pension Service and Her Majesty's Treasury, to consider how to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.


Written Question
Free School Meals
27 Oct 2015

Questioner: Lord Knight of Weymouth (LAB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they plan to publish the Small Schools Taskforce report relating to the provision of free school meals in small schools.

Answered by Lord Nash

A decision has not yet been made on the publication of the taskforce report.